EU funds project to develop new PET/MRI mammo device

A new breast cancer screening device that will combine PET and MR technology is being supported by the European Union (EU), according to the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR).

Launched on 1 January, the project is called Digital Hybrid Breast PET/MRI for Enhanced Diagnosis of Breast Cancer, or HYPMED, and is a consortium made up of nine partners from universities, research organizations, and industry. It is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program; its scientific coordinator is Dr. Christiane Kuhl of University Hospital Aachen in Germany.

The project's goal is to develop a radiofrequency coil that can be connected to any regular clinical MR scanner and transform the device into a high-resolution hybrid PET/MRI system, which will then be used to find even the smallest breast cancer foci and better characterize both the cancer and its response to therapy, EIBIR said. Radiation dose will be comparable with a digital mammogram.

Project members hope the HYPMED approach will transfer to other clinical applications such as prostate cancer detection and hybrid cardiac screening, EIBIR said.

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